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Pam and Russ Martens: JPMorgan Chase gets another fine, for 40 million derivative violations

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Pam and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Monday, October 2, 2023

In the eyes of Wall Street veterans who are paying close attention to what's going down at the mega banks on Wall Street, federal regulators are making the crime wave at these banks worse, not better. The federal fines for egregious behavior at these banks are getting smaller and more meaningless by the day.

Take what happened on Friday. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined three of the largest trading houses on Wall Street a combined $53 million for derivative reporting violations. Those trading houses were units of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.

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But what was particularly tone-deaf about the CFTC's settlement with JPMorgan Chase was the tiny amount of the monetary fine and the praise heaped on the five-count felon bank for its "cooperation" with the federal regulator.

According to the CFTC, over a period of five years, spanning 2017 to 2022, JPMorgan Chase Bank and two of its units "failed to report, or failed to correctly report, more than 40 million swap transactions." The fine was a pathetic $15 million in total for the three JPMorgan units, meaning it cost this global behemoth just 37½ cents per violation.

Last year JPMorgan Chase reported $37.7 billion in net income. A fine of $15 million for 40 million violations of law is something that traders will make jokes about around the water cooler. ...

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